The effect of rezoning land under the District Plan on rates or property valuation is not a simple answer.
Zoning and rating are two different processes. Councils are able to use planning boundaries for rating purposes, but Horowhenua District Council has chosen not to do so and is not intending on doing so. Council has an urban rating area which is based on the extent of existing urban development, not the potential area for urban development (i.e. urban land zones). From time to time this urban rating area is reviewed and updated to reflect the extent of the built up area of urban development.
It is possible that some rural or industrial zoned properties would be rated rurally based on being in the rural rating area and outside the urban rating area. Rates relating to services are based on the provision of services and again not based on the District Plan zoning.
Where it gets a bit murky is that the land value of a property is used in part of the rating calculation. Therefore if valuers deem the rezoning to have an impact on the market value of the land this could in turn effect the rates of a property. We have introduced a remission policy on land used for primary industry and rural lifestyle purposes in areas that have been rezoned as residential and commercial/industrial zones, to help mitigate the effect of corresponding increase in land value.
In summary, zoning can technically have an impact (indirectly) on rates. This would only be if the rezoning resulted in a valuation that changed the land value. The actual rural and urban rating areas are quite independent of the District Plan zones. Given that there are so many other factors that influence both the rates and the land valuations, rezoning can have an impact on rates.
For further information, call the rates department on (06) 366 0999 to discuss.